Roy Salter’s Wren

The original English Electric Wren was designed in 1922 by W O Manning in an attempt to produce the lightest possible aircraft driven by the absolute minimum engine power. The S1 prototype first flew on 5th April 1923. After several modifications the plane flew well and resulting in a plane that had a maximum speed of 52 miles per hour at just over two thousand feet. Five aircraft were built. Wren number four is now in the Shuttleworth Collection.

Roy Salter’s almost 60% model was a frequent visitor to the show circuit in years 1999 and 2000. It had approximately 50 flights under Roy’s ownership.

The aircraft took almost four months to build using Cyprus and ply. No three view drawings were available, but the Shuttleworth Collection gave Roy permission to measure the full size. Construction used traditional techniques as can be seen opposite.


The Wren, under construction.


The model is powered by a Moki 90cc boxer twin. It is covered in sprayed Solartex with stitching and tape on the ribs.


The completed model.

The model did not fly well straight off the board. The full-size specification had been followed as far as the wing and tail incidences were concerned. With zero engine thrust the model kept wanting to fly nose down. After modifying the thrust-line by three degrees and increasing the rudder movement the model significantly better.


Roy Salter (right) with the Wren.

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